Friday, April 21, 2006

stoner story 6 - The ghost in McLeodganj

I had gone up to Dharamshala on work when I was with the travel magazine. And Dhramashala being the cesspool it is, I spent most of my time up in McLeodganj hanging out with Chris, Betsy and Caroline, three Buddhist-types from San Francisco..typical American hippies (sans the drugs). I had to stay down in Dharamshala since the magazine had hooked up accommodation for me there in a government hotel and I am too cheap to pay for a room when I get one free.

The second night I was at McLeodganj, I overstayed after dinner and decided to walk back. As none of the other three smoked, I rolled a sweet spliff for the walk down to Dharamshala. It's a 9km walk, but quite easy since it's all downhill.
On the way between McL and Dharamshala is Forsythganj where the Church of St John in the Wilderness can be found. It's actually right by the road on your left. The best part about this church is the massive cemetery that sprawls over the hill on both sides of the road.
It wasn't a full moon night, but the stars were out and everything's clearer in the hills anyway. Also I had those big torches with the big beam to help me along the way courtesy Chris. He'd also given me his very funky raincoat with extra large hood in case it started raining (it being July).
It struck me that I'd never been inside a graveyeard at night and this seemed to be the best time to add that to my list of stupid things done while stoned. So in I went.
There really wasn't much to see..apart from century-old moss-covered tombstones of forgotten Englishmen..lots of children too which was a little spooky.

I had wandered quite a way inside (looking back I couldn't see the gate) when I heard a rustling behind this big ass tombstone.
The first stoner reaction when wierd shit like this happens is always: what the fuck!!!!
The second stoner reaction is to take the first reaction as a question and now you have to find the answer, which is where stoner 'missions' usually originate

I moved closer to the tombstone and straight out of a movie cliche..stepped on a twig with an extraordinarily sharp thwack!!
A figure rose extremely slowly from behind the tombstone and turned to face me. Every single particle in my body was yelling RUN MOTHERFUCKER RUN..but the pot was saying, "Fuck actual live ghost"..
Oxymoronic I know....

We stood looking at each other motionless for what seemed like an hour but must really have been only a few minutes till the apparition in front me clears his throat and with trepidation cracking through his voice asks, "Beta?"

Nah..wasn't a ghost..was the parish priest out for his evening walk and he'd dropped his keys behind the tombstone...
He told me later he'd thought I was one of his dearly departed too... But nice chap..dropped me back to Dharamshala in his jeep..


Anonymous Anonymous said...

yeah! i fell in love with the cemetary the first time i saw it. but none of my friends agreed to accompany me there at night. besides, the locals told me that tigers and bears come out on the roads at times, at night.

-J []

3:14 PM  
Blogger Pirate of the Arabian said...

What!! tigers and bears???? the only wildlife I saw was the occasional Israeli hippie

4:40 PM  

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